Skip to main content

sexual health

The Testing Diaries: Joey

Do you feel anxious about the idea of getting tested for sexually transmitted infections and diseases? Some of our readers certainly do.

Some never had adequate sex-education and did not realize that sexual activity with a partner -- and not just anal or vaginal intercourse -- can pose STI risks in the first place. Some are not sure where to go for testing or how to ask for it. Others feel uncomfortable discussing STIs with a partner or potential partner. We get it: this stuff can be hard, and it is usually not the kind of thing where someone just takes us by the hand and leads us through.

This is why we're starting this new series at Scarleteen's blog. In it, some of Scarleteen's volunteers will share their own stories of how they deal with different aspects of STI testing and reproductive healthcare.

I was tested for the first time seven years ago, shortly after I had my first sexual experiences. Things did not go according to plan: though I'd insisted on condom use, the person I

Read more...

Breaking a No Condom Habit

CuriosityCat asks:

I am 20 and sexually active. I don't have a long term partner but have had and do have various partners. I have an IUD so I'm protected against pregnancy, however I know condoms are still hugely important. My problem is that I am completely stuck for what to say to make a man put one on. At the moment, it's just getting carried away then really kicking myself later. I have to be more diligent with this, but please- do you have any advice for laying down the law? A non awkward, but still sexy way of asserting myself?

HPV, Relationships, Pregnancy and Sex

tsunamichick89 asks:

Since I was 19 I've had an annual PAP smear done. Never, until this year, has it been abnormal. I went in January of 2011 and then held off because since then I have had an IUD put in, Gardasil, and lost my health insurance. Once I had saved up enough to get my pap test this year it was May. About a week later my doctor called to make an appointment to discuss results. I made another appointment and went in and needed a colposcopy. Another week later she called again. And then I knew then something wasn't right, I've never had a doctor call me about results.

How Do I Tell My Boyfriend I Was Raped?

keylos via asks:

Two years ago, I was raped by a boyfriend. I suppressed those feelings for a long time; I've only recently come to terms by calling it rape and I'm trying to be more open about my experience, in the hopes that it will help me heal. I've only told my two closest friends.

I'd like to tell my current significant other. I trust him, and I think it's fair he should know what problems I have before we get involved too deeply. I'm really nervous about this, though. How do I even start the conversation? What if he doesn't take it well? I'm definitely not in a place to discuss my rape in detail, but how do I talk about how rape affected my personal boundaries?

Morning-After Misunderstandings

Labels inside every box of morning-after pills, drugs widely used to prevent pregnancy after sex, say they may work by blocking fertilized eggs from implanting in a woman's uterus. Respected medical authorities, including the National Institutes of Health and the Mayo Clinic, have said the same thing on their websites.

Such descriptions have become kindling in the fiery debate over abortion and contraception. Based on the belief that a fertilized egg is a person, some religious groups and conservative politicians say disrupting a fertilized egg's ability to attach to the uterus is abortion, "the moral equivalent of homicide," as Dr. Donna Harrison, who directs research for the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, put it. Mitt Romney recently called emergency contraceptives "abortive pills." And two former Republican presidential candidates, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, have made similar statements.

But an examination by The New York Times has found tha

Read more...

Safer Sex: Do Women Sleeping with Women Need It?

absolutelyapple asks:

My girlfriend and I (I'm a chick) are both virgins. Is there any point in us using a dental dam when/if we have oral sex?

The Native Youth Sexual Health Network (NYSHN)

An organization by and for Indigenous youth that works within the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice across the United States and Canada.

Got an Infection? Some Take-Care Basics.

Over the last few weeks, I have been sicker than sicker than sick. I managed to pick up whooping cough, which, combined with other health issues I already have, made my blood pressure dip to a very scary place, to boot. I had already been having some flare-ups from those other issues, so they made the whooping cough worse, it made them worse. Like plenty of uninsured people do, I tried to hold off on healthcare for as long as I could, but eventually had to cave and suck up the big bill so I could get the big meds and also be sure I wasn't, you know, dying or anything.

This combo of illnesses made it impossible for me to do nearly anything, including most work. When you mostly work from home, you can usually work through almost anything, so when you can't even do that, you know it's bad. They've also put some big cramps in my life. For a week or so, the deepest conversations I had with anyone were something to the effect of "More. Tea. Blanket. Ugh," and the most passionate embrace I

Read more...

The Simple and Underrated Art of Washing Your Hands

Handwashing, seriously? Yep, handwashing. Seriously. (Well, mostly seriously.) Here's how to do it and why it's so important to do.

Quick Hits: We Already Got You Covered Edition

Landa84 asks:

My boyfriend and I had anal sex and then after went on to normal intercourse, can this cause infections?

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.